Best R&B karaoke songs 90s: The 1990s may have been the last decade in which R&B, rather than hip-hop, dominated black music. New Jack Swing gave way to neo-soul and more experiments with studio technology's fast-moving advances.
On the pop charts, R&B crossover was a given; ballads like Whitney Houston's smash "I Will Always Love You" and the moving Boyz II Men–Mariah Carey collaboration "One Sweet Day" spent months at the top, while upbeat tracks like Blackstreet's swaggering "No Diggity" and Janet Jackson's peppy "Together Again" also made it to the top.
Top Six R&B Songs from 1990s
Early-decade upstarts like Mariah Carey and TLC blossomed into megastars, forcing pop listeners to keep up with their ever-evolving visions for the genre; and new acts like Maxwell and Lauryn Hill emerged in constant states of evolution, redrawing R&B's boundaries. These six moments from the decade represent the pinnacle of best R&B karaoke songs 90s.
· Jodeci: “Forever My Lady” (1991)
When Jodeci emerged in 1991, it appeared that vocal ensembles and hip-hop machismo could coexist. Today, it appears that endeavor has failed: R&B male ensembles are nearly dead, with the exception of ageing troupes like After 7 and Jagged Edge.
But there was a time when every singer idolized K-Ci Hailey, the Southern bad boy who's harsh, Bobby Womack-inspired snarl (together with his skilled but less outspoken brother JoJo Hailey) made Jodeci the quintessential black trio of the 1990s. Even though it's about becoming a father for the first time, he adds so much heat to "Forever My Lady" that it threatens to boil; it feels like a bedroom jam of the most sensational sort.
Video: Jodeci - Forever My Lady
· Erykah Badu: “On & On” (1996)
It's possible that her presence, more than her music, surprised many in 1997. Badu was a black woman dressed in a sarong and a head wrap who sang Five Percent Nation quotations in a Billie Holiday-like way over a sticky, churning neo-soul beat.
That last ingredient wasn't entirely new - Anita Baker is just one of several modern R&B singers who succeeded in a jazz setting – but Badu's approach sounded innovative and fresh. "On & On" sounds like she's delving into the secrets of life, which isn't typical pop radio fare, and we want to follow her into the unknown. The hard work she put into this song surely made this song one of the best R&B karaoke songs 90s.
· Bell Biv DeVoe: “Poison” (1990)
Bell Biv DeVoe had matured into a template for Wu-Tang Clan by 1990, with all former and present members having sold millions of CDs on their own. However, just one song from that era has the ability to light up any dance floor like a Christmas tree.
From DJ Freeze's staccato synths (which he later said were his version of Kraftwerk blended with Latin salsa) to a sample of Kool G Rap being punched in like a shot across the bow, "Poison" is a rush of energy.
Three guys are so enraged with a previous girl that they hound her out on wax, according to the lyrics. "Cool used to do her," Ronnie Devoe murmurs, ostensibly referring to Bobby "Cool" Brown. Is this what hip-hop on the R&B tip with a pop appeal to it means – an exercise in slut-shaming? Who cares? The song is hot.
· Lauryn Hill: “Ex-Factor” (1998)
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill's solo debut, sent shockwaves across the industry, breaking sales records and uniting critics and lay listeners with its masterfully produced fusions of hip-hop, R&B, reggae, and whatever other genres captivated the former Fugee's fancy.
"Ex-Factor," a brutal examination of relationships' mutual failings, was reportedly written for a girl group of the same name, but Hill kept it for herself after deeming the lyrics (allegedly directed at her former bandmate Wyclef Jean) too personal; her wrenching performance proves that she made the right decision.
· Mary J. Blige: “Be Happy” (1994)
Much of Mary J Blige's best music combines the bitter and sweet notes of love and life, but none more so than "Be Happy," which is filled with agony and much-needed catharsis. "How can I love somebody else/If I can't love myself to know/When it's time/Time to let go?" begins the first tune from My Life, and it's one of the best opening lines in best R&B karaoke songs 90s.
Critics at the time disparaged her dismal tone in comparison to the upbeat sound of her equally acclaimed debut What's the 411? resulting in the "Sad Mary" caricature that has remained with her to this day. The unsettling nature, however, connected with audiences, and it is now regarded as her most important work.
"Be Happy" exemplifies soul music as a personal and spiritual breakthrough, from Sean "Puffy" Combs and Poke's Curtis Mayfield loop to Mary J. Blige's yearning. She may be talking about all of us when she sings, "All I really want is for me to be happy."
Video: Mary J. Blige - Be Happy
· Aaliyah: “Are You That Somebody?” (1998)
The best R&B song of the 1990s was born out of a sense of impending doom: Timbaland and Steve "Static Major" Garrett were contacted in 1998 to write a song for R&B sensation Aaliyah, who had been invited to record a song for Eddie Murphy's big-screen Dr. Doolittle adaption.
According to Timbaland, the track came together quickly: Tim made the booming, stuttering beat, Static found the hook, and Tim topped it off with a sample of a cooing baby (found when crate-digging for "Countdown to 6," a 1968 track by analogue synth geniuses Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley).
The baby's delight serves as a tell for the thrill offered by the song's futuristic visions, with Aaliyah's expressive vocal—which shows off the might of her powerful instrument and ability to not only keep up with, but dart around, Timbaland and Static's start-stop rhythms schemes—remains cucumber-cool throughout, and tops the list of best R&B karaoke songs 90s.
90s surely was the last decade of R&B domination in black music industry, but R&B didn’t end there. For listeners across the world, these songs are immortal, and the modern renditions of these songs, along with modern R&B songs are keeping the beat alive for ears addicted to R&B.